Japan Axes Funding for Nude News Show

TOKYO - A Japanese version of the Canadian show "Naked News" has lost its government funding due to harsh public criticism, but producers have vowed to keep it on the air.

Entitled "Hadaka no Shuwa Nyusu" ("Naked Signing News") and produced by Paradise Television Inc., the program consists of a Japanese anchorwoman stripping while delivering tabloid news stories in sign language.

The show was being supported by state funds allocated toward programming for the hearing impaired, with 400,000 yen already granted to it, but now, according to a Communications Ministry official, "We will give the limited aid available to higher public interests and benefits."

Meanwhile, Paradise spokesperson Shinichiro Fukuyama told the press, "We will juice up the program, maybe airing it live with some improvisations by the anchorwoman. Our company's principle is to entertain our audience, regardless of whether they are disabled or not. We will continue programming."

Tokyo Federation of the Deaf director Daisuke Ochi praised Paradise for its commitment to continuing the show, saying, "People with hearing impairment of course also have sexual desires. We want to make sure we have access to all sorts of information. But I also understand that public aid given to the program was problematic."